Facebook – Facebook Continues to Host Anti-Vax Theme Profile Borders Despite Ban
COVID-19 misinformation is banned on Facebook, and yet, there are profile picture borders with misleading messages still up.
There aren’t any major social media platforms right now that are completely free of misinformation. All of them, unfortunately, are currently struggling with regulating posts with misleading or false info—and Facebook seems have it the worst by far.
There’s a heated debate online as to whether that’s the result of the platform’s negligence or just an overwhelming volume of policy-violating posts. Whatever you think the truth is, it’s clear that Facebook is far from done with dealing with the problem.
Facebook Removes One Anti-Vax Profile Frame, but Leaves the Rest Up
CNBC News has noticed something peculiar on Mark Zuckerberg’s big blue social network: even though Facebook has banned COVID-19 and vaccine misinformation, there are a number of profile picture borders with anti-vax messages available to use.
The news network reportedly reached out to Facebook about one frame that said, in all capital letters, “My immune system is better than the [image of a syringe].”
A Facebook spokesperson was kind enough to confirm that the border violated the platform’s policies and that it had been removed, but that’s apparently where the rule enforcement ended.
You can search for the word “immune” in the custom borders search bar and find several more frames that express the same opinions. Some example messages include “I trust my immune system, not a shot” and “F*** your COVID vaccine.”
When asked whether the use of emojis could enable a rule-violating frame to evade the platform’s detection system, Facebook did not respond. It shouldn’t, considering Facebook has been training its AI to understand videos. Photos should be easier to decode.
The company also did not detail how long the frame had been active, nor how many users viewed/used it. So, it’s very possible that hundreds—maybe even thousands—of users have been exposed to the potentially harmful message it promotes.
Facebook vs. Pandemic Misinformation
It’s become pretty normal to see the words “Facebook” and “misinformation” in the same headline. Surely that’s something that the team behind the platform wants to change, but their approach needs to either get smarter or get more aggressive for that to happen.
Sure, Facebook removed 1.3 billion fake accounts in March, and later donated $5 million to the WHO’s COVID-19 fundraising campaign. But the fact remains that the platform is still peppered with fake news about the pandemic.
It wasn’t too long ago that Facebook released profile frames in support of getting vaccinated. Perhaps the company should’ve checked for the anti-vax frames when adding those.
Facebook’s Oversight Board promises to balance freedom of expression and Facebook’s content moderation rules.
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